GentriWatch: Cambridge Rents Saw Biggest Jump in 2015

Plus, 'The Hub on Causeway' in underway in the West End, and a Cleveland Circle landmark is dismantled.

Welcome to GentriWatch, where we look for signs of gentrification happening around the city.

DEPENDING ON WHO YOU ASK, the Boston area’s hottest neighborhood in 2016 could be Eastie, South Medford, or Quincy. But before we look to the year ahead, it’s important we fully understand what happened in 2015.

Rents in Cambridge saw the biggest spike from 2014 to 2015, according to a new report from real estate data Zumper. Kendall Square, Harvard Square, and Riverside all saw 15-percent or greater increases in the price of a one-bedroom unit, while Cambridgeport, Inman Square, and East Cambridge saw increases between 10 and 15 percent.

Meanwhile, rents in Beacon Hill rose 10.2 percent.

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THE WEST END—CHILDHOOD HOME of Leonard Nimoy, one-time immigrant enclave, forever an albatross of a Boston Redevelopment Authority drunk off its newfound urban renewal power—is getting yet another facelift.

Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs’ Delaware North and Boston Properties began construction on a massive complex called “The Hub on Causeway” Wednesday, expected to radically change the North Station area.

Built on the former site of the old Boston Garden, the complex’s first phase will include a Star Market concept, a 15-screen ArcLight Cinema, office space, and underground parking, reports the Globe. Future phases will bring three towers: a 38-story residential building, an office building, and a hotel.

The first phase is expected to open in 2018.

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THE CLEVELAND CIRCLE THEATRE is finally coming down.

As previously covered in GentriWatch, the site of the long-vacant movie house and Applebee’s will be transformed into a 162-room “European-style boutique hotel” geared toward Millennials, developed by National Properties and Boston Development Group, and operated by AC Hotels by Marriott. There will also be 92 residential units age-restricted to those 60 and older, along with 14,000-square-feet of retail space and 188 parking spaces.

The $85 million project was approved by the BRA in July. Demolition began early this week, and a reader sent Universal Hub a nifty picture of an old Green Line train passing by in the theatre’s glory days. What are the chances that train’s still in service?

Notice something changing in your neighborhood? Let me know:, @KyleClauss.